Thursday 21 September 2017

Boost for workers as pension funds rise

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

WORKERS have been given a boost with the value of their private pension funds rising for the first time in five years.

Rising stock markets and better returns from bond markets sent the value of private-sector pension schemes to more than €80bn last year.

The combined value of pension funds had dropped as low as €72.3bn in 2011, due to falling share prices and poor returns from investments in bonds.

Pension funds here have suffered some of the highest losses in the Western world since the financial collapse in 2008.

VALUE

But the latest figures from the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) show that some of the losses are being clawed back.

The 11pc growth in the value of pension funds comes despite the Government extracting €500m a year from all private sector schemes in a levy that has been earmarked for job creation.

Head of the IAPF, Jerry Moriarty, said the rise in the value of funds was good news for those workers who were able to put some money aside for their retirement.

"A strong performance across international equity and fixed income markets drove much of the improvement," he said.

Some €50.5bn of the pension fund money is in defined-benefit schemes. But most of these schemes are facing huge shortfalls.

Irish Independent

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